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Subject: Re: [docbook] Ruminations on the future of DocBook

Adam Turoff wrote:

>On Sat, May 31, 2003 at 04:03:26PM +0100, Dave Pawson wrote:
>>At 14:55 30/05/2003 -0400, Adam Turoff wrote:
>>>>  My question then is, would that level of semantic markup be valuable in
>>>Um, isn't that the whole point of DocBook?  If that level of semantic
>>>markup (which exists today), then why aren't people marking up their
>>>class documentation with <literal> and <emphasis>?  (Or are they?)
>>Pragmatic? Speed?
>>The effort and time needed for full semantic markup with todays element
>>set is very high. My question is simply are users getting good value
>>for that time spent?
>Hm.  That's questioning the need for DocBook to exist in the first
>place.  If the vast majority of users aren't using full semantic
>markup, then perhaps DocBook (the current 400+ element version) is 
>solving a problem that people don't need solved.
>Sounds to me like a good case for refocusing DocBook on the structural
>markup consistently found in technical documentation.  
I've been asking myself, "Why not refocus DocBook, at least as an 
initial analysis exercise, on the *generic* markup needed by all 
(whatever that means) documents?"

For example, what about a mapping of DocBook elements to XHTML elements? 
As a first approximation of a "core" set? It would likely be many-to-one 
in most cases. DocBook is richer with respect to XHTML, but that DocBook 
subset, call it a *new* SDocBook might be a good starting point to look 
at modularization with respect to other, more specific, more rich  
requirements for other forms of technical documentation.

On the face of it, there seem to be benefits for the initial 
learning-curve, adoption, and documentation of DocBook and there may be 
benefits in terms of maintainability of the style-sheets and support effort.


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